It looks like meditation may be the next best thing for the city that never sleeps, with the opening of a drop-in studio in Manhattan.
MNDFL, pronounced “mindful,” opened its doors in Greenwich Village early November, offering non-denominational 30 and 45-minute meditation classes to busy New Yorkers.
While meditation spots have been increasing in the city, MNDFL is a new concept that’s rethinking our preconceptions of the practice by making it not overly spiritual or time-consuming.
Conjured up over coffee only last year, the concept is the brainchild of film-exec-turned-spiritual-blogger, Ellie Burrows and renowned Buddhist teacher and author of The Buddha Walks Into A Bar, Lodro Rinzler.
“I told him I was having trouble sitting at home practicing, and asked him why there was no place to go meditate like the way I drop into a salon and get my nails done, or drop into a Body By Simone for a workout,” Burrows remembers. “As a busy New Yorker, I wanted a place to go that didn’t involve climbing five flights of stairs and sitting in on two-hour talks.”
The product of this conversation was MNDFL – a quiet sanctuary just above the bustling streets that offers a menu of meditation practices, just like a nail salon. Not getting enough z’s? Try the MNDFL Sleep class. Going through a breakup? Put down the Ben & Jerry’s and take up MNDFL Emotions.
“I like to think of this as meditation university,” Rinzler says. “You can take different classes and decide what style you want to major in. It’s about finding a practice that’s right for you.”
If it was a university, the professors would be A-grade, with 23 expert teachers including Megan Mook, a 15-year veteran of the Tibetan Buddhist school, and New York Times best-selling author Sharon Salzberg, who has studied meditation since 1971.
It wouldn’t be a New York studio without an equally impressive interior. Designed by style gurus from Homepolish, the space is as modern as it is Zen. Think exposed brick, neutral palettes, and walls of plants to foster clean air and tranquility. Plus, there’s complimentary tea to encourage people to linger and commune before and after class, as well as a retail section with groceries, apparel and other goodies, but above all, MNDFL provides ‘a space to breathe’ in a city that often forgets to.
MNDFL offers both memberships and casual visits, and the studio is open for self-guided practice when classes are not in session. So if you’re having a stressful day or just need a little downtime, why not pop in to MNDFL on your lunch break and swap your power-nap for some power-meditation? Just be warned, with over 8 million city dwellers, you may want to ‘book your ur cushion’ here first.